Millions of Americans will take to the roads and the air as they travel across the country for the holidays. Whether you’re journeying “over the river and through the woods” or just around the block, there are some simple tips to keep you and your family safe.
For Highway Travel
Check road conditions and the weather report. Visit the Federal Highway Administration’s website [fhwa.dot.gov] and Weather.com for the most updated information on traffic reports and weather conditions.
Keep winter driving essentials in your vehicle. Pack an emergency snow kit containing a snow scraper and brush, flashlight, blankets, jumper cables, a shovel, cat litter or sand for traction on ice, flares, bottled water, and a first aid kit.
Give your vehicle a winter check-up. Make sure oil levels, tire pressure, windshield wipers, heater, defroster, antifreeze, and brakes are checked.
Don’t forget your cell phone. Make sure you have your cell phone and charger before hitting the road. Or, purchase a prepaid cell phone with minutes. If you do need to make a call, be sure to pull off the road or have a passenger make the call.
Use proper restraints for children. Infants and toddlers must be secured in a child safety seat. Children under 4’9″ tall must be in a booster seat.
Allow extra time for travel and unexpected traffic delays.
Watch your speed, especially when travelling on unfamiliar highways.
Be aware of your surroundings. Keep a safe following distance between you and the car in front of you. Or, if another car is following you too closely, let them pass or move into the next lane.
Don’t drink and drive. The holidays can be a time to relax and celebrate with friends and family. But remember to always drink responsibly.
For Air Travel
Get to the airport early. Avoid traffic delays and other hold-ups by getting a head start on your trip to the airport. Depending on the level of security in place at the airport, additional time may be needed to go through security.
Keep track of flight changes. Check you departure time a day or 2 before your trip.
Make sure you have proper identification. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration requires travelers over 18 to have a photo ID issued by a state, local, or national government agency. This includes a driver’s license, passport, or military ID, but does NOT include student ID cards or employee ID badges.
Gifts should be unwrapped. Whether your gifts are in your carry-on or your checked baggage, make sure they are unwrapped in case they need to be checked by security. Or, ship wrapped presents ahead of time or plan to wrap gifts when you arrive.
A little preparation goes a long way. Enjoy the holiday!